Morgan Stanley advisors produced positive net new assets this month, a significant development in its competitive situation vis-à-vis Merrill Lynch.
As of the second quarter, when Morgan had asset outflows, that battle was being won in many respects by Merrill, according to industry statistics and experts interviewed by Bloomberg News.
With 18,000-plus advisors, Morgan Stanley still has the larger force. But when Merrill’s 15,300 brokers are combined with U.S. Trust advisors, Bank of America has nearly 17,000 reps.
Average annualized sales or production per advisor stands at $851,000 for Merrill and $686,000 for Morgan Stanley.
In terms of revenue, the two groups are close: Merrill reps had sales of $9.5 billion in the first nine months of 2010, and Morgan’s had $9.3 billion. BoA widens the divide, though, to $12.6 billion if U. S. Trust advisors are included.